It seems that some SUVs and trucks continue to get bigger in size, despite gas prices and fuel economy concerns. Of course, some people need trucks to transport goods for work, and it’s their choice how big of a vehicle they want to buy, or how much gas they can use. But many are saying that some trucks are getting so big that it can have a very negative effect on how motorists can see vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists.
In many cities in Canada there has been an uptick in traffic fatalities caused by dump trucks. Due to the nature of the design of the cab, the blind spots for drivers are greatly reduced as well as how much they can see in front of them. Some are calling for changes to larger trucks, similar to how some school buses have changed with a flatter windshield to allow drivers to have a better view of what’s directly in front of them.
My neigbours truck & why I won't let my 10 yr old ride on College St (or most other roads & never not alone). Frankly, pulling up beside or being passed by a truck of this size gives me shivers. One wrong move/moment of distraction by the driver & a cyclist is in serious trouble. pic.twitter.com/cJ77HxSfsE
— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) March 23, 2022
There have been some changes to trucks used in cities so it creates safer spaces for cyclists and pedestrians. Take this garbage truck, for example.
Car-centrism: "We can't make streets for pedestrians and cyclists, we won't have enough space for cargo & utility vehicles."
People-centrism: "Make the vehicles smaller".
The truck in photo is a garbage truck, about 30% the size of a standard truck. Result: Space for people. pic.twitter.com/thl08Pkkuu
— Henrik Lundorff (@bicivikingo) July 29, 2019
Many advocates say that the larger trucks need even bigger mirrors to allow them to see not only cyclists, but smaller cars that can effectively “hide” in the blindspot and be invisible to the driver.
The Hi Vue Fresnel lens combats this blindspot for less than £10.00 per #HGV.
— Hi Vue Fresnel Lens (@NoBlindspot) August 13, 2019
Either way, you have to wonder if your truck may be a smidge too big if you need to do a grand jeté every time you want to go get milk. Check out the jump this woman has to do to get in her giant truck below.
Why would you do this to yourself pic.twitter.com/TCNRyhvbLU
— Jed Weeks (@jedweeks) August 28, 2022